NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – It is all about character, not only in the New Providence schools, but also in the community at large. This was the core theme as the district administration, staff, students, parents and community members celebrated for New Providence School District being named as one of the four National Districts of Character.

The celebration took place at Lieder Field on Wednesday, Oct. 3. The celebration was also attended by Mayor Al Morgan, New Jersey Commissioner of Education Kimberly Harrington and Interim Executive County Superintendent Juan Torres.

The award is a culmination of many years of effort in developing our students into good citizens, Superintendent David Miceli said. The character education in New Providence is not “an occasional presentation,” instead it is entwined in our culture and curriculum. Miceli congratulated the students for embracing the kind, supportive and caring community that New Providence schools are.

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Miceli also presented “a token of appreciation” to Jeannie Drexinger, Principal at the Salt Brook School, for being the district’s “ambassador” of character education and for spearheading programs that enhance character building among students. Drexinger introduced this year’s character education theme – “Start Small….End Big”.

It is unbelievable to come here and celebrate nothing other than being with one another, Adam Smith, President of the Board of Education (BOE) said as he, in turn, congratulated the school administration, staff, students and families. Character education can’t happen without families and the community which embraces volunteerism. “Education is more than algebra, language arts and history.” Our character education is based on integrity, fairness, respect and responsibility, Smith said.

“It is an honor to be here,” Harrington said. There are many awards, but none is greater than to be recognized for character, she said. You are the crusaders of this cause and tomorrow’s leaders, she said to the students.

Mayor Morgan also spoke at the celebration and noted that character is passed down from generations and families. The Borough Council is striving to make New Providence a better place to live for all. “We don’t have many problems. We are inclusive,” he concluded.